Monday, February 24, 2020

Social Media Fasting

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Have you ever deleted a particular social media account, or at least taken an extended break from it?  It's a fantastic feeling and there's so many benefits can come from it.  It's actually a very common thing to give up for Lent - which starts on Wednesday, by the way.

Benefits of Limiting Social Media

Have more time for better things.  You might think that social media takes up just a few minutes of your day, but I urge you to track your time.  Instagram has this as an option, by the way, it'll tell you how long you were on.  But it all adds up to way more than you think it does.  Potentially hours in your day.  Imagine all of the things you're going to have time for if you gave up social media for the next 40 days, even just one account.  You can organize, clean, walk the dog, spend time with people you care about, read, learn something new, pick up an old hobby, cook more - options are endless.

Stop feeling left out.  Social media can really make you feel left out.  Left out if your friends go out without you for whatever reason and post pictures.  Left out that you're not able to afford the same house as your bestie, or the same vacation.  Left out that you don't have whatever the latest and greatest tech or clothing item is.  Even if you don't act on those feelings, they still exist.  It's human nature.

Stop feeling the need to compete.  One of the darkest aspects of social media is that it can create this need to compete all the time.  To have better photos, better clothes, better events, a better life than someone else.  Which is absolutely insane.  People go into actual debt trying to get the most likes and followers on their accounts and for what?!  If you get trapped in this cycle, you need a social media fast more than anyone, my friend.

Think about yourself less.  There are all these great things that you'll be feeling but the bottom line is it's because you're thinking about yourself way less.  Social media is totally self-centered.  It's all about what you post and how you feel about and what you can show or tell people and how people react to the things you say.  How many times in that scenario are you thinking about, well, you

But still learn about yourself.  Even when you stop being so self-centered, you'll still learn about yourself but in a good way.  You get to form your own opinions and feelings on things completely outside of what someone else on the Internet is telling you that you should think.  You'll learn about your real likes and dislikes and interests when you stop caring what looks better on your Instagram feed.

Better self control.  Why people put everything they think as they're thinking on Facebook and Twitter I will never understand.  Without the instant gratification of social media, you're about to learn much better self control.  And it's good to flex those muscles and prove that you can, in fact, quit something for 40 days.

More quality time with people.  Imagine how excited your friends and family will be that they get to have a real conversation with you, uninterrupted by checking messages or the need to immediately post a picture of your dinner and inform the world where you are.  We all feel loved and appreciated when someone makes it clear that we are more important than their phone.  And for the next 40 days, you can make everyone you come across feel that way.  Your relationships will improve.

Better idea of who is important.  Do I get less 'happy birthday' messages without Facebook?  Yes.  Do I still get those messages from family and everyone I consider a friend?  Yes.  Life without social media shows you real quick who is actually important in your life and who makes the effort to stay connected to you.  Those are the people you want to prioritize.

Better sleep.  If you always check your accounts before bed, you're about to sleep so much better.  Not only will your mind not be thinking about all the nonsense you just looked at, but the blue light of phones and laptops has been proven to mess with your internal clock and keep you up at night.

More living in the moment.  I think this is my favorite part about not having much social media.  I get to actually live in and enjoy the moment.  You might think that taking photos of every step of the way will allow you to remember things better, but that's just not the case.  While you're busy taking pictures and editing them and uploading and adding hashtags, you're completely missing what's happening around you.

Have you ever taken an extended break from social media?  How did it feel?  Are you planning on giving it up for Lent?

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